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Surface Distributor > Vertex Color / UV Options

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It would be nice if we could use arbitrary map channels for the Vertex Color. Also, it would be nice if we could use specific rgb/uvw channels. For example, if I want to distribute just from the Red channel of vertex color (or X value in map channel 10).

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Hi Shawn,


Can you please explain in more detail what do you want to get, and how should this work?
If possible, please show this on the screenshots.


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Attached is an example scene.


This is a simple example of how the vertex colors might drive a system (in this case, the base blue channel of the vertex colors is displacing the landscape down for the river). The other colors are not used to displace in this example, so are added to the second vertex paint.


If you select the object GFX_Ecosystem1 there are three paths:


  • WaterPlants(blue)
  • BankPlants(red)
  • Grass(green)

What I'd like is that the distributors allow you to use just that channel for distributing--so in this case the waterplants paths only appear where there are non-zero blue values in the vertex colors. Etc.


Notice also if you hit Render you will see that the materials are also using these as masks. (Open slate to see that the texture masks are using R/G/B sub-channels).


If the surface distributor could use sub-channels like the material is using, it would make it very easy to populate the plants along the environment easily. Even more valuable is this method used in conjunction with the DataChannel modifier added in 2017.1. In that case, the vertex colors can be driven by the landscape topology--meaning that automatically we can make some kinds of plants only appear on vertical surfaces and others only on flat, etc etc. Having the plants and materials update  automatically and together is what I'm looking at accomplishing.


Hopefully this makes sense.


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I meant to add:


So the Surface distributor would need a new Dropdown under the Use Vertex Color checkbox with these options:


  • RGB (default and legacy)
  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue

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Furthermore, since you might be using masks from other channels (instead of channel 0, you might use another channel like a UVW channel instead), there should be a Channel spinner that defaults to channel 0 (which is the vertex color channel). Changing to channel 10, for example, will use the uvw coordinates as colors. For example, you can use Vertex Paint Modifier to paint vertex colors into channel 10 (or any channel).

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